CIHA 2016 in Beijing

34th World Congress of Art History

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Reviving the Disappearing Ones: A Korean Feminist Artist Siren Eun Young Jung’s Yeosung Gukgeuk Project

Session 10 Gendered Practices

Virginia Commonwealth University


Siren eun young jung, A Korean feminist artist and winner of the Hermès Foundation Art Award in 2013, is well known for YeosungGukgeuk Project, in which the artist has investigated the forgotten life of YeosungGukgeuk, a Korean traditionalwomen’s theatre, since 2008. One of the three characteristics of the works is gender performativity, which is embodied through the actresses’ repetitive practices to become a man. The project reinforces materiality of the notion, by introducing the actresses’ individual lives and the element of performance in intermedia works. The last characteristic is a political potential of the traditional music dramas used in the theatre, which is engendered when read closely related to the contemporary society. I will argue that YeosungGukgeuk Project is an attempt to create a community of sense, to borrow Jacques Rancière’s notion. The works presenting the artist’s affect let the viewers create his or her own affect and this led to a community of a shared affect. In such a way to revive the disappearing women into artworks, YeosungGukgeukProject is marked as a new case of Korean feminist art beyond the first- and second-wave feminisms and different from the Western feminist art.

SUNG Ji Eun 

Ji Eun Sung is a graduate student in Art History at Virginia Commonwealth University, in Virginia, the U.S.A. Her research interest is art since 1945 in East Asia, the U.S.A., and France, particularly the relationship between neo-avant-garde art practices pursuing a utopian dream with playful but ironic intermedia works. She is also interested in feminist artworks in contemporary art. Her main framework is contemporary continental philosophy as she received a M.A. in Aesthetics at Seoul National University with a thesis on Jacques Lacan’s notion of Nachtraglichkeit. She has worked as a curator and art critic in Korea and the U.S.A. and presented papers at various venues, such as the 20th International Congress on Aesthetics in 2016. Recently she is working on practices of Kim Ku-lim, a Korean experimental artist in the early 1970s, focusing on the radical aspects that cannot be grasped with the Greenbergian discourse on Modern Art.